Toddler Friendly Landscaping

A yard can be a great place for a growing child to learn and play. It offers them an opportunity to learn about the world outside without being too far from the familiarity and comfort of home. I remember what a convenience it was to have our own spacious backyard when our children were still young. We put in a sandbox and swing set for them. As they got a bit older, we put up a soccer net as well. It was nothing fancy, but it provided years of enjoyment for our family.

In an ideal world, a yard is a perfectly safe place for a young child to play under the supervision of an adult. However, any parent knows it only takes a split second for something to go wrong. Most of the time, it is something easily remedied like your child knocking over a cup of juice, coloring the walls with crayon, or falling and scratching their knees. When it comes to playing outdoors in a backyard, the biggest threats to a young child can include:

  • Ingesting poisonous plants
  • Falling into a pool, pond, or other body of water on the property

That is why it is important for parents or those who plan on having children in the future to carefully think about their landscape design and decide whether or not it would provide an appropriate place for a young child to play. Even with supervision, all it takes is a minute of distraction to put you and your child into a bad situation. This isn’t to say that you should avoid any plant but grass on your property, or scrap that idea for a waterfall and pond. You can still have the landscaping you want while keeping your child safe. Just remember to:

  • Speak to your landscaping company about good plant choices for a home with young children. There are plenty of non-toxic species which make beautiful additions to any yard. A professional can steer you in the right direction and let you know if something is poisonous or harmful to your child.
  • Another option is to grow any plants that may be harmful in a location your child would not be able to access, such as a locked greenhouse, hanging planter, or gated garden.
  • All bodies of water that are over 1′ deep should be fenced off so that a child cannot accidentally fall in
  • Fencing an area off is not always a practical option, such as in the case of a pond. In these cases, consider decreasing the depth or putting up more natural looking barriers such as rocks around the perimeter.

Smart, effective landscape solutions should be something that your whole family can enjoy, no matter their age. By making a few important changes and decisions, you can ensure that your property is safe for your children, as well as those of any guests or neighbors. Your landscaping should always bring you joy and peace of mind.

Landscape Planning

Hand with gardener shears near thuja

I’ve been sitting in on quite a few meeting and looking over past and current landscape designs produced by my husband’s landscaping company, and I’m starting to understand the basic concepts involved in creating an effective and aesthetically pleasing design for any property. It’s been a lot to take in but luckily I’m a quick learner. I used to believe that landscaping was solely about improving the appearance of a property. The first things that came to mind were sophisticated stone walkways, gorgeous gleaming fountains, and exotic plants. The truth is, functionality and practicality are equally important considerations. People require landscaping assistance for many different reasons, and not all of them are related to superficial enhancements.

An effective landscape design can often also:

  • Protect your home. It is important that the land gently slopes away from your home to prevent water from pooling around your foundation and causing damage. If the land is not sloped, other protective measures should be implemented to lead runoff away.
  • Improve security. An overgrown or messy yard can be hazardous to traverse, as well as decrease security on your property by blocking visibility.
  • Increase utility. A yard is an extension of your home. With the right touches, it can be used as an outdoor living space where your family plays, relaxes, or entertains.
  • Add value. Landscaping is a great way to add to the value of your property. You do not have to opt for a lavish or complicated design. Oftentimes, just making sure that your property is neat, well-maintained, and easy on the eyes is enough to make buyers fall in love.
  • Save you money. Trees and shrubbery provide shade and help to keep your home cool during warmer months. Strategically placing greenery around your home can help to reduce utility bills and create a more comfortable and pleasant environment for your family.

As you can see, landscaping can serve many practical purposes. It is a worthwhile investment for any homeowner. My husband’s Northwest Arkansas Landscaping company often sits down with clients to discuss their needs and expectations, as well as go over various options and ideas before producing a custom design for them. This gives property owners the opportunity to establish what they are looking for, and dictate how simple and low maintenance or extravagant and over the top they wish to go with their landscaping.

The most appealing landscape designs often include diverse but complementary colors and textures. These are included through material and plant choices. Even those who choose to go the low maintenance route often want to bring some visual interest to it. It can be something as simple as:

  • Brick or concrete patios next to luscious green grass.
  • Stone pavers and stone walls for easier navigation and a natural, rustic look.
  • Trees and other greenery to break up the flat landscape and introduce more color and texture

There are so many possible ideas that are suitable for any homeowner no matter what they are trying to achieve.


Making the Transition

After much deliberation, I decided to set aside our baby goods company to focus on the landscaping business my husband inherited from his father. While the baby care business was my dream, I feel as though I have outgrown it in recent years. Things tend to change along with your life circumstances. Our children are now older and growing more independent by the day. They require far less attention from me now, which leaves me more options for working away from home. One of the main advantages of running my baby goods business was the ability to work from home. Now I find myself missing a traditional workplace and face-to-face interactions.

We discussed it at length, and I am confident in my decision to move forward and help my husband with the landscaping company. He has supported me in my endeavors for the past several years, and I’d like to be there for him as he works to maintain his father’s legacy. The landscaping business has been in their family for generations, dating back to his great great grandfather. Back then, landscaping was a luxury for only the very rich. It’s amazing to see how different things are now. Many ordinary people rely on landscaping services to help keep their property looking neat and beautiful. Most simply do not have the time or knowledge to attend to the matter themselves.

My father-in-law saw to it that the business model adapted with the changing times. His landscaping business began offering simple maintenance services in addition to design and installations. This helped the business to grow and thrive to this day. With his recent passing, it is now up to my husband to keep the family business and legacy alive. I know it’s something that he feels both excited and nervous about. He has some big shoes to fill, but he feels strongly about the business and building upon what his family has established. He has always carried his family name and reputation with pride. Many people in the community recognized him and associated him with the landscaping company as he was growing up. It is a part of his heritage and his identity.

As my husband transitions into his new leadership position, I am going to provide assistance in any way I can. I know it is a lot of pressure for him to step into this role. He has spent many years as just one of the team, and now he’s their boss. It’s going to be a big transition for me as well to go from baby care products to landscaping. It’s always good to learn new things though, and I have always admired the landscaping business and the beautiful work that they do.

On this blog, I will be sharing advice and tips regarding landscaping with readers. As I learn more about the business, I’d like to share my knowledge with others as well.